The Great Resignation – I know many of you have heard this term and probably know people who have resigned or left their current jobs. I was shocked when I read a Forbes article last month to learn a record number of 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April 2021, and that record was broken a few months later when 4.4 million quit in September 2021. WOW, so many people are making this big decision.
Our team at the DRG Group has lost several great employees at our respective organizations during this time, and we have coached many more through the process of “should I stay or should I go.”
As we talk with friends, family, employees, and clients, we see common trends in those who find themselves at this decision point. We all had a lot of time to reflect when we were home, and many people learned that they like being home. They like the pace. They like the extra family time and that they could make dinner. They did not miss the daily commute and time stuck in traffic. They are different—they changed. Unfortunately, the organizations they work for have not.
The other main reason people are leaving is that they are burned out. Some of us do not have a good shut-off button – we want to do more, advance, grow, and all of that action is taking its toll. We have forgotten what we were doing and why it is important. We all want to feel valued. We want our work to matter. We want to have purpose. And when you are tired and feeling undervalued, you feel like the next best step is to leave.
So, what can you do if you find yourself on this precipice and you need to decide about what is next? We hope you take time and careful discernment to determine what you value most. Ask yourself tough questions. Or get someone you trust to challenge your ideas and actions. This can be a spouse/partner, close friend, family member, or a career coach – it just needs to be someone who will hold a mirror up to you, so you look at yourself and your decisions objectively.
Here are 12 questions to consider:
What specifically about my current job is frustrating me?
How long have I been feeling this way?
Why do I want to leave?
Have I taken every action possible to make my current position work?
Are my expectations realistic?
What would I give up by quitting?
What would I gain by quitting?
What do I want for my job, career, and life?
Do I have a plan and/or network to help me find my next job?
Does quitting fit into my greater plan?
Can I afford to leave?
Is the grass really greener?
Should you stay or should you go—that is one you have to answer for yourself. It is not easy, and it shouldn’t be. This is your career and your life. You are in charge of making the decision. Our one word of caution is to pause.
If you are frustrated, angry, or burned out—pause. If the position seems too good to be true—pause—gather more data so you can make the right decision. It is not always better to leave. The grass is not always greener.
Recently, one of our friends took a position in the for-profit world. He wanted to make more money and wanted to be 100% remote. What he quickly learned is that more money does not mean less work. And remote work can be isolating and lonely. There is no sense of community or team. These are hard lessons, to be sure—and part of the process of growing as a professional. Some moves are not going to work, and those hard lessons are how you figure out what is most important.
Listen, the job market is strong. There are many positions available at great organizations. So, if you find yourself considering a move—pause—and ask yourself some tough questions. While you are doing this, get your resume ready. Talk with your current employer to see if there is room for you to grow in place. Reach out to your network and tell them you might be ready for a change. Check out hiring websites like our DRG Gigs Board. Put the effort in—you are worth it, and remember we are here cheering you on every step of the way!
The DRG Group